Are you a computer scientist? A network engineer? Have you developed a new web-based protocol? If so, we want you to sign on to a statement [PDF] explaining to the DC Circuit Court that openness and neutrality are fundamental to how the Internet was designed and how it operates today.

Back in March the FCC released an Order that would prevent broadband ISPs from blocking, throttling, or interfering with their retail customers’ traffic based on the content or type of the traffic—in other words, to make sure ISPs adhere to net neutrality principles.

Now, several ISPs and their trade organizations have filed suit against the FCC in order to get the rules overturned. EFF and ACLU will be filing an amicus brief in the case explaining that free speech principles and case-law support the Order. Additionally, we’ve written a statement [PDF] which we will attach to our brief that explains to the court the technical underpinnings of how the Internet works—things like packet-switching, the end-to-end principle, and the concept of the layered network stack.

That’s where you come in. If you’re a computer scientist or network engineer, we’d like you to sign on to the affidavit. We want the court to understand that there is a wide consensus among network engineers, protocol developers, and Internet-based service providers that openness and neutrality are key to the proper functioning of the Internet—and striking down the FCC’s Open Internet Order could put that proper function in danger.

So if you’re a computer scientist or network engineer1 and you’d like to sign on, please review the statement (near-final draft available here [PDF]) and then email with “FCC Net Neutrality Sign-On” in the subject line and your title2 or job description in the body, and help us explain to the court why net neutrality is so important for free speech and innovation.

  • 1. While we appreciate support from others, for the purposes of this letter we need to restrict signatories to network engineers, computer scientists, and others with a technical background.
  • 2. The letter includes a disclaimer stating that unless otherwise noted, the signatories to the statement have signed on in their personal capacity, and do not represent their employers or affiliated organizations.

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